By Bethany Mily
So, you want to level-up your career or small business by adding some tech skills to your arsenal. That’s smart! In some situations when you can do something yourself, it’s going to save money over having to pay an outside vendor.
Things like website updates or customizing can cost between $300 and $1,000 and designing a custom website from scratch can run $5,000 to $10,000. When you consider your own hourly rate, you might come out ahead if you have the skills to build your site yourself.
At the same time, if these are also services you can start charging for, you’ve just made yourself that much more valuable to your clients/employer.
Website design and mobile app building are just a few skills you can learn to double your income according to GoBankingRates.com. Web development skills are very much in demand . Projected job growth for web developers from 2014 through 2024 is 27 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That is nearly 4x the national average (7 percent) and more than twice the “computer occupations” average (12 percent).
Web design and coding are skills you can put to work for yourself, or use to bring additional efficiency to your organization. But, if you’re new to these fields, how do you acquire the skills? The most common options include enrolling in a course with a local educational institution or taking an online class.
Some of Your Tech Training Options
Online-only education is often positioned as a cost-effective method for advancing your career, especially when it comes to learning tech skills. It seems reasonable that professionals learning to code could receive that education through a computer screen, but there is more to getting ahead than just technical skills.
I run a technology training program, and what I hear from students most often is how much they value coming into a classroom and working in-person with instructors who are also industry experts. Especially for those learning something completely new, having a human to talk with face-to-face can make all the difference.
Recent research suggests that going online-only for education can result in a lack of engagement and make it harder for struggling students to keep up. If you’re going to pay for technical training, you don’t want to risk getting left behind.
A Classroom Setting Offers More Than Coding
Beyond learning, there are benefits that you will gain by going into a classroom for in-person tech training to upgrade your technical skills.
Find a Tech Mentor
The importance of a tech role model to show what it takes to be successful in the industry is invaluable. If this is an industry you want to go into, or if you want to sound credible discussing your new skill set with clients, you’ll need to hear the lingo from someone who is in the field.
Learn How to Sell
If you’re going to attempt to market these skills, you need to discover how they’re sold. Learning from someone who is already doing it can be extremely beneficial.
Discover Where to Sell
You don’t have to live in a tech hub to apply your new coding skills. Nearly every profession leverages technology and working with professionals in your region can help you identify markets that need your expertise. Even the most rural areas need technology professionals in healthcare, agriculture, government and retail.
Meet Your Next Potential Client, Employer or Employee
You know networking is critical to small businesses, so being in the same room with people who know your industry could lead to employment opportunities. In addition, if local companies know that a training program produces people with the skills they need, its likely to be one of the first places they look when they need new talent.
Investments In Yourself Pay Off
If you live in an area far from a major city and think that online is the only way you’ll be able to learn tech skills, think again. There is likely a training program near you and they may even provide transportation or scholarships. So no matter your situation, you may still be able to get the benefits of in-person technology education.
Monster.com recently described its top six ways to invest in your career, and nearly all of them are achieved by learning a new technology skill in a classroom setting. If you currently work in IT, know web development or can code, take your skills to the next level by learning how to develop software applications and programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary in 2017 for U.S. software developers is $103,560.